The East India Company Bullion Ltd, in association with the government of St. Helena, has launched (10th October) a new collector gold set of coins which is in remembrance of the bicentenary anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.
A classic heroine for the modern ages, the gold Proof coin set features a new version of the famed numismatic classic “Una and the Lion,” and is also in tribute to the Queen who held the record as the longest-reigning monarch of Great Britain. This record was eclipsed by her great, great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, on the 9th September 2015, when she broke Queen Victoria’s 63 years and 215 days on the British throne. The theme of the design shown on the reverse side of the new collection focuses on Una, a heroine for all ages, who is steadfast and true when those around her waver. It was this theme, “Una and the Lion,” who are the allegorical creations of celebrated English poet Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queene. The story of Una and the lion had been chosen for the reverse side of the splendid gold £5 commemorative coin, dated 1839, which was issued to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria the year previously. The design and engraving on both the obverse and reverse is the work of renowned artist and member of the Royal Academy, William Wyon (1795–1851), whose work is still widely well regarded and admired for its intricate and detailed renditions. It has also been 180 years in 2019 since this extraordinary work of numismatic artistic excellence was issued.
The Story Behind the Coin’s Theme
The Faerie Queene is an epic poem written in 1590 by Edmund Spenser and first published in England as Books I to III. Dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, who reigned from 1558 to 1603, the story is an allegorical tale of romance, adventure, battles, and myth which was to become Spencer’s defining work. The Faerie Queene is also one of the longest poems in the English language.
According to Spenser’s tale, Una is a beautiful princess whose parents and kingdom are captured by a ferocious dragon. She sets out on a quest to free them from the dragon, taking her on an epic journey of battles, adventure, and romance. During her quest, she faces many challenges that test her humility and determination, including being confronted by a fierce lion. However, the lion is so taken by her beauty that he abandons his attack on her, becoming her protector and loyal companion. Una enlists the help of a brave Redcross knight to help her slay the dragon. True to her cause, Una’s virtues inspire the knight to slay the dragon and fulfil his destiny as the hero St. George, the patron saint of England.
Renowned engraver Glyn Davies designs the reverse side of the 2020-dated three-coin set. The designs are inspired by the history and symbolism of the prestigious pair of Una and the lion, paying homage to Una’s beauty, strength, and honour, as well as her unique connection to St. George and the dragon. Each reverse side of the two smaller size coins includes an element of the complete design displayed on the one-ounce gold examples. The text UNA AND THE LION is placed along the edge and to the left of the primary design, along with the year 2020.
The obverse side includes the commonwealth portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark, along with the authority of issue, ST. HELENA, and the denomination of 2 POUNDS or 5 POUNDS placed below the Queen’s portrait.
|Two pounds||.9999 Gold||0.5 g||11 mm||Proof||3,000|
|Two pounds||.9999 Gold||7.78 g||25 mm||Proof||499|
|Five pounds||.9999 Gold||31.1 g||32 mm||Proof||200|
The new 2020-dated gold Proof coin set is the first release of a new coin collection which will feature different interpretations of “Una and the Lion” as a yearly series release of gold and silver coins for collectors and investors worldwide. The collection will also appeal to gold sovereign coin collectors looking to complement their collection with coins featuring St. George’s companion and inspiration, Una. Each option has an exceptionally low limited-edition for each of the first release gold coins in the range. Both the gold £5 one-ounce and £2 1/4-ounce examples are encapsulated and housed in custom white lacquered presentation cases, along with a corresponding certificate of authenticity.
The 1/2-gram coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom-branded East India Company case along with a certificate of authenticity.
The East India Company Bullion Ltd, official and exclusive distributors of the Una and the Lion Gold Set are offering a pre-release special discount price for each option in the series until the 31st October 2019. Full details can be found by visiting their website.